MEVA picked for FIFA stadium in Qatar
Safety and quality as top priority in preparations for 2022 World Cup.
Data & Facts
- State of Qatar, The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy
- Contractor (and Architects)
- Al Balagh Trading & Contracting Co. W. L. L. and Larsen & Toubro Ltd.
- MEVA Systems
- Formwork Engineering
- MEVA Formwork Systems (Qatar), Doha, Qatar
MEVA wall and slab formwork alone that was needed for this mega-project ran to some 18,400 m².
In 2018, football fever was running high, with all eyes on the World Cup in Russia. However, with the end of the tournament, the focus has shifted to the next country to host this footballing mega-event. In Qatar, of course, preparations for the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup have long been underway.
Particular attention has been given to the new stadiums. Apart from meticulous planning and smooth implementation, safety is a top priority of the Qatari authorities for the ongoing works. Construction of the Al Rayyan Stadium is progressing in close collaboration with MEVA.
Certified safety systems
As formwork supplier for this major project, MEVA underwent state certification to ensure compliance with the stringent safety standards and quality criteria. “Even the crane eyes of the formwork panels and small parts’ crates were re-inspected,” explains MEVA engineer Mustafa Öksüz in reference to the high safety requirements. Project Manager Abdullah Al Fehani proudly points out that 19 million hours have already been worked with no lost time accidents. Nor has anyone been injured, nor have there been any unscheduled work interruptions during this time. As Abdullah Al Fehani says, “Not only is it good for every one of us who gets to work in a safe environment, but enhanced health and safety also represent the real legacy of this World Cup that our team works hard to create.”
Flexible planning from the outset
The meticulous planning regime in all areas even covers the installation of connecting components, such as flange screws and assembly locks. After completion of the first formwork drawings by MEVA engineers, working in the Qatari capital of Doha some 20 km from the stadium, autumn 2016 saw the start of the concreting works for the spectator stands – some five weeks ahead of schedule. Although this positive momentum has been maintained throughout the project, it has demanded a high degree of flexibility from both the engineers and the deployed formwork systems. “Any changes in requirements in the course of the works have necessitated a rethink and appropriate adjustments to our planning,” reports Mustafa Öksüz. “At the same time, of course, we were urged to work with the existing materials so as to prevent any delays. That was easy to achieve thanks to our flexible formwork systems.”
No added time for logistics
Although ample space was initially available for the storage of materials, products and formwork systems, the spatial constraints in and around the Al Rayyan Stadium gradually intensified as work progressed. Quite apart from the props and safety systems, the amount of MEVA wall and slab formwork alone that was needed for this mega-project ran to some 18,400 m². In the long run, the inadequate storage capacity for such enormous quantities made it essential to streamline the logistical operations. With no provision made for “added time” in the tight project schedule, close co-ordination with the contractor was paramount in meeting the logistical challenges. However, just-in-time delivery was not only important in terms of timing. Given the enormous quantities of formwork in use, it also enabled the project contractor to achieve considerable savings.
Formwork systems in action
The two contractors, Al Balagh Trading & Contracting Co. W.L.L. and Larsen & Toubro Ltd., opted to use diverse MEVA formwork systems. The formwork “team” featured everything from AluFix, StarTec and Mammut 350 to CaroFalt, Circo and the MevaDec and MevaFlex slab systems, with hardly any formwork products remaining on the substitutes’ bench. In the various parts of the vast construction site, each system was able to play to its own strengths.
Strip foundations with Mammut 350 and AluFix
The limited bearing capacity of the ground necessitated the construction of strip foundations below the structural walls and floor slabs to ensure the uniform distribution of building loads over the subsoil. Here, either the lightweight AluFix wall formwork or the large-area Mammut 350 was specified, depending on the particular foundation size. Measuring 3.50 m x 1 m, the Mammut 350 panels were ideal for the 30 m x 1 m foundation sections carrying the bulk of the structural loads. The smaller foundation elements were cast using the lightweight AluFix wall system. AluFix’s light aluminium frame allows it to be transported by hand, thereby economising on crane time. Simultaneous assembly at different site locations also helped speed up the progress of the works.
Fair-faced concrete basement car park
The new stadium also incorporates a basement parking area where the coaches of big-name international teams will arrive and depart. The fair-faced concrete surfaces were accordingly subject to enhanced requirements. As subsequent plastering of the 5.9 m high walls is not envisaged, they have been provided with a smooth and level finish. With alkus all-plastic facings fitted as standard, even heavily used MEVA formwork panels can readily achieve a consistent fair-faced concrete quality. The facing is easy to clean, nailable like wood, non-swelling and, if necessary, repairable using the same material.
MevaDec and MevaFlex as midfield duo
Elevated slabs from a height of 5.5 m upwards, such as those in the basement car park, were cast with solid downstand beams. This is where the conventional MevaFlex slab formwork came into play: to form the concrete beams, vertical facings stabilised with H20 beams were placed onto the facings for the underside of the beams. Lateral support was provided by trestles. The flexible MevaDec system was then used for the remaining 90% of the slab formwork to cast slabs with thicknesses between 25 and 40 cm. At the same time, the grid-free system allowed free directional positioning of the beams in accordance with the building geometry while also reducing filler areas. In addition, the manual transportability of the individual components by a single person ensured flexible assembly. One product feature that particularly boosted efficiency during the works was the MevaDec drop head. This lowers the primary and secondary beams by 19 cm, thus allowing easy removal of the panels and their reuse for the next pour. The fact that early stripping was possible after only three to four days significantly reduced the on-site inventory and further accelerated construction operations for the Al Rayyan Stadium.
Straight, round and angular
Subsequent work stages involved the use of StarTec wall formwork for casting walls, lift wells and spectator stands. MEVA’s multi-purpose formwork is able to accommodate fresh concrete pressures of 60 kN/m² over the full surface, making it ideal for the rapid performance of high vertical pours. Given that the system is seamlessly combinable with lightweight AluStar aluminium formwork, fillers, offsets and corners are easy to incorporate, even without craneage. The up to 8 m tall, round and right-angled columns needed for this project were formed using the Circo und CaroFalt systems. The Circo circular column formwork was supplied in the form of twin semi-circular units for connection using the standard MEVA assembly lock. Here, accurate ganging is made possible by pairs of turned connecting flanges. CaroFalt column formwork comprises four identical panels hinged together, such that, viewed in section, they resemble windmill sails. Thanks to integral access platforms and ladders, both systems guarantee maximum safety at work.
After the game is before the game
The structural concreting works were scheduled to continue until the end of 2018. Construction of the new Al Rayyan Stadium is then due for completion only one year later. After the World Cup, the facility will be downsized: the original capacity of 40,000 seats will be reduced to 21,000 for the matches of local team Al Rayyan Sport Club. This will be achieved by removing the top tiers of seats, which will be donated to up-and-coming footballing nations.